HomeSchools & YouthGirls State Offered Wong “A Different Perspective”

Girls State Offered Wong “A Different Perspective”

GIRLS STATER: Morgan Wong, a rising senior at San Marino High School, was a delegate to the 75th edition of California Girls State last week, which was held last week at Claremont McKenna College. Mitch Lehman Photo

Forgive San Marino High School rising senior Morgan Wong if she tosses her hat into the ring for a seat on the local school board at the November election. Wong just chuckled at the idea Tuesday afternoon, but her time spent at California Girls State last week was no laughing matter.

“It was a great experience,” Wong told The Tribune. “I loved it. It was very special.”

Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Girls State is a leadership program designed to increase awareness and knowledge of governmental processes while learning about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of citizenship using a mock state government format. Aside from providing 520 young ladies from across the State of California with an introductory government experience, the 2018 edition was the 75th in its rich history, and Wong said the American Legion Auxiliary rolled out the red carpet for the landmark event, which was held at Claremont McKenna College.

Wong earned a spot on her city’s school board, and was very enthusiastic about the process, during which she and her fellow board members distributed funding, deciding between basic educational needs or extra classes.

“I had to receive opinions from our constituents and learn how to prioritize,” she said. “It definitely opened my eyes about the role of government in our lives.”

Wong also reported that she became “best friends with about 30 other girls, from North Lake Tahoe to San Diego.”

“Everyone there was so genuine and nice,” Wong continued. “It was like a camp full of over-achieving girls. There were times when I would have a conversation with someone who has accomplished so much and I was like ‘what am I doing?’ They were very nice and very smart and everyone supported one another. It was a great environment and a great change of pace.”

And it might even affect the future of the Lady Titan volleyball star, who hopes to attend UCLA after graduation.

“I wasn’t interested in politics and I had my sights set on medicine or health, but after Girls State, I would say I am open to more fields,” she said. “This experience put a little spin on it. There were many intellectual conversations and some real-life political discussions. I definitely have a different perspective.”

Wong was one of four rising seniors who were nominated for the position and was chosen after a lengthy application process. The daughter of Mei and Chun Wong, Morgan has two younger brothers: Devan will be a freshman at San Marino High School this fall and Logan is entering third grade at Valentine Elementary. Aside from volleyball, Morgan is Captain of the Speech & Debate team, President of the Red Cross Club and Vice President of the senior class.

She left Girls State with a feeling of gratitude.

“I really admire the American Legion Auxiliary,” Wong told The Tribune. “They are so patriotic and passionate. They raise the money to pay for every girl to attend the program. It is a wonderful organization and I developed a great respect for what they do.”

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